The plot for this very child friendly game could not be simpler to describe. Two children, a boy and a girl decide to pay a carnival a visit. Somewhat surprisingly though, the place has a distinct lack of colour. Seems that the island has seen better days and the life and energy has been sucked out of the place.
Now with the arrival of the two nameless heroes of our tale, the island soon begins to come back to life. As they visit each zone, they will get the chance to not only bring the area back to life, but to free animal mascots that have been trapped by some mysterious method and these friendly beasts will cheer on the kids as they play the various games on offer.
The island is split into four zones, and each zone will have two game stalls on offer. These range from a shooting game (with a cork gun) to hoop la, to a game of coin toss and a game where a frog can be launched at lilly pads with the aid of a hammer. Each stall has it's own selection of variations on the stall's theme. For instance the first shooting game has you aiming at cans that pop up gun training range style and moving targets. Once you have completed some of the challenges linked to this game, then the next variation is unlocked and in some cases, a cute mascot is unlocked.
The games under this option include protecting mine carts full of gold from thieving Raccoon bandits to shooting stars of a certain colour that are in turn, fired from two sets of cannons.
Everything is controlled by the move controller, and clear on screen instructions make it obvious what needs to be done and how to do it. However some of the challenges are quite tough so this is where the replay value that it has may well draw the kid's back to beat a challenge and win more tickets. (This will be explained in a little while)
On the surface the games are quite literally, pick up and play and don't seem that much of a challenge but it's when you see some of the scores needed to beat a challenge, you soon realize that there is more to this game then first met the eye.
As already stated the usual fairground shenanigans are on offer, from ring toss, shooting ranges, coin toss, and variations on the coconut shy theme where you throw balls to knock down cans and bottles. And like fairground games in real life, each time you rack up some points, you earn tickets. These can be exchanged to unlock 'prizes' and buy balloons.
Yup balloons. The balloons are representations of the animal friends you will unlock as you go along (You start with a Panda Bear by the way) but do not grant any extra bonuses for the games and neither do the prizes. This is to be honest, a Pokemon style collect them all kind of objective which may or may not endear itself too the child playing it.
As a mature gamer, it did nothing for me and for the most part I could not see the point of purchasing strange items like Lobster Claws and ice creams! There is one area where there is a photo booth.
With collected tickets you can unlock new special photographic effects. Not much that will entertain little Jimmy, but some adults may be tempted to try this after some beers and pizza one night. Just remember to keep the kids away from the resulting photo album!
OK let's start the usual break down shall we? Right here we jolly well go...
GAMEPLAY/CONTROL: Easy to pick up and play from the start. One of those games where a manual counts as a waste of paper as the onscreen instructions make it clear as day what needs to be done. Simplistic indeed for the kids, too simplistic for maturer gamers perhaps but seeing as this is aimed at the little ones, then you cannot expect too much. Adults can play safely alongside the kids, knowing that there should not be any temper tantrums caused by them not understanding what they have to do. Controls are responsive for the most part, but this is the first move game I've tried where sometimes the wand motion could not always be picked up, especially from towards the bottom edge of the screen.
But for the most part the controls do what you'd want and expect from them. Aiming the cork gun is as simple as can be, but aiming hoops and coins can be a little tricky so maybe expect some frustration from the little ones until they get to grips with it.
GRAPHICS: Bright and colourful as you'd expect from a child friendly game. All will be pleasing to the eye for the little ones although grown ups may find it all a little too cute and twee for their liking.
MUSIC: Well the same can be said for the music as for the graphics, bright and breezy and what I would call 'popcorn' for the ears. Adults playing this by themselves (if they would want to) may well find themselves turning the volume down because it soon goes from cute to a little annoying quite quickly. There is very little in variation from one zone too the next as well. Not the greatest soundtrack I have ever heard.
VOICE/VOCAL TALENT: The barkers all have nice, warm friendly voices and strangely, are all male. The vocal 'talent' of the children however is not on display here as they are reduced to inarticulate shouts of joy, whoops and huzzah's. They have not bothered with lip synching or dubbing here, so it isn't a particularly impressive side to the game and to be frank not that important.
PHYSICS: For the most part things react they way you'd expect them too, but there are some questionable physics especially when it comes to stack games. Hit the bottles with a ball and see some of them fall vertically and landing on their bottoms? Surely not!
But for the most part it seems adequate if not entirely spot on in some cases. There are no explosions or fire effects so that about covers it for that area.
So what about the pro's and cons? Good question...
PRO'S: Fun and colourful for the age group it is aimed at. It encourages multiplayer action as well that given the right circumstances would keep a pair of kids quiet on a wet weekend afternoon.
It doesn't have any morale message to ram down the child's throats and does not pretend to be anything other than what it is, a colourful collection of games that spares the expense of paying to play them to some dodgy guy behind a stall where the targets etc are not nailed or superglued too their bases! (Not that I am accusing fairgrounds of cheating!)
CON'S: There is very little for us mature gamers to really want to care about here unless we have been press ganged into playing alongside the children. And if there are two adults and two kids, well you have a problem right there. Maximum number of players for this is two. Yes two. So if you have a family of four say, then don't be surprised if impatience whilst waiting becomes an issue.
Indeed I feel once kids have sampled all the games, unlocked all the cute animal friends, played with the photo booths limited special effects, then I feel that some may not be bothered about the six or seven sub challenges that most games have and it could well be left in a drawer or on a shelf to collect dust.
Don't get me wrong, this could be a lot of fun but once the novelty has worn off...
Adults probably won't want to play this much if they can help it. In fact I already suspect that when kids are in bed, they would probably prefer Medieval Moves Dedmund's Quest over this any day! But I do see it has potential but I also feel that some more options could have extended its shelf life by some degree. More multiplayer options for one would/might have helped and I can't see this being one of those titles that will have DLC coming for it any time soon if ever.
When it comes to scoring it then I feel I have to try and put myself in the mind set of the age group it's aimed at. So with that in mind, if I was a ten year old child then maybe I'd mark it an 8. As a mature gamer however, I feel my score may seem harsh and a little cruel, but please bare in mind I am a lot older than the target age group and I don't have any kids of my own of the right age to play alongside with!
So perhaps a little reluctantly, I have to give this a score that may seem a little mean.